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Druk Wangyal Chortens

Druk Wangyal Khang Zhang Chortens, all 108 of them, are located on the Dochula Pass. The pass itself is situated at an elevation of almost 3,100 meters. It is counted among the most beautiful places to visit in Bhutan both for its natural beauty and because of the incredible sights it affords of several Himalayan peaks.

The 108 chortens, known as Druk Wangyal Khang Zhang Chortens, were built under the patronage of Queen Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuk. Built in succeeding rows, they are easily recognisable by their white and red colours. They are situated on a small hillock located right under the pass. In the local language, they are called “gYul Las rNampar Gyal”, or, the chortens of victory. These chortens were built to honour the martyred Bhutanese soldiers who sacrificed their lives in a battle against insurgents in 2003. They also symbolise the victory of KIng Jigme Singye Wangchuk, who succeeded in removing the rebels from places where they had set up camps. Construction of the chortens began after the king returned to Thimphu.

The Druk Wangyal Khang Zhang Chortens have been built in the form of three layers. The lowest of them has forty five chortens, the second layer has thirty six, while the topmost one consists of twenty seven chortens, all of which surround the main chorten. All of these chortens were constructed by religiously sanctioned procedures and rituals. The process of their construction deserves a mention. When the height of a particular chorten reached 1 meter, a pit would be excavated. These would then be filled with bronze utensils filled with butter, along with symbolic offerings of grains.

When their heights increased a little more, the pits would be filled with images of Buddhist gods made of clay and then stuffed with papers. This was followed by the most important stage which consisted of placing the sokshing, also known as the life tree of the chorten. Apart from the important historical significance which these chortens possess, you should also visit them during your Bhutan sightseeing tour for the beautiful sight they present. Overlooked by fir trees, they are a sight to be cherished.